lifestyle

Experience vs Viewing the Experience

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I have this vision of myself, standing on a cliff in Ireland.  The waves crashing below, the storm clouds rolling in and the wind swirling around me.  I put my arms out and for a long moment, I am completely experiencing.  The sounds, the feelings, the energy, the emotions.  I know no past and I don’t care about the future, I am completely submerged in the moment.  Call it a meditation or a daydream. I use this vision quite often.

Every day we are viewing experiences.  Watching other people’s lives on television or on our phones.  Driving somewhere and watching the buildings and trees go by.  These are all experiences, yes, but experiences that we are viewing rather than actually experiencing.  It’s a subtle difference but all the difference it makes.

In the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert writes about driving in car and having the windshield completely block you from the experience versus driving on a motorcycle and actually being able to experience the drive, the wind, the sunshine, the rain.  It’s the perfect analogy for experience versus viewing the experience.

Where in your life can you start to fully experience, be fully in the moment.  Multitasking is great, but it completely voids you of the moment.  Wash dishes, and only wash dishes.  Go to the gym and leave you phone in the locker.  Be completely there.  It’s so simple, but so rewarding.

Lots of Love,
Brittany

lifestyle

Feminist as F#ck

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When I was 13 I had an article published in our county newspaper about equal rights for women in the military. I didn’t realize it then but I was already a feminist.  Let me be clear here and say that at 13, I had no idea what a feminist was.  I was purely witnessing and hearing about imbalanced treatment and it was making me see red.  And even at the age of 13, I needed to express that the only way I knew how, by writing a public article in the hopes of changing even just one person’s thought on equal rights.

Flash forward to 2011, someone said to me “oh god, are you one of those feminists?”. I didn’t know how to respond because I’ve never thought of myself in that way.  I’ve never had to put a label on the way I felt.  Was I a Feminist?  Heck. Yes. However back then, being a Feminist had a negative tone surrounding it, even though it was just a few short years ago.  Celebrities, Public Figures and Influencers were holding strong to the “I’m not a feminist” line, and as such so were the people.  I responded to him by saying something along the lines of “yes, of course I am!” and he then said nothing and abruptly walked away.  Buh Bye.

Jump to current day and you have Beyoncé singing in front of a jumbo screen with the words “Feminist” on it. And not so secretly, my heart skips a beat.  I’m quickly seeing Feminism become trendy.  From new books on being a feminist, to t-shirts, to fashionable websites, to celebrities all declaring “Yes, I am a Feminist”.  Yes, I am a strong woman. Yes, I can do masculine things as a woman.  Yes, I should be treated and paid equal.

A Feminist doesn’t look a certain way, we don’t hate every man that ever walked the earth, and we don’t think we are better than anyone else. We believe in equality, we believe in protection against rape, assault and harassment, we believe in your daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt, girlfriend and wife.

Yes, I’m Feminist as F#ck and you should be too.

 

Bookworm? Check out these books:

Feminist Fight Club

We Should All Be Feminists

We Were Feminists Once

Living My Life

 

 

lifestyle

7 Ways to Stop Moving Through the Motions

Sometimes life can feel like you’re on repeat. Just doing the same things day in and day out, just moving through the motions of life. Here are 7 ways to try to change that!

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  1. Change Routes.   Morning commutes can be downright horrible. I know I have at least an hour drive to work each morning, and that’s on a good day. To mix things up every once in a while, I’ll take a different bridge into the city or try a different route to work. It’s a different view, different scenery. An easy way to mix things up every once in a while.
  2. Use your time wisely.   Speaking of commute, I try to use that hour drive to work as a way to learn something new or inspire myself. Which is why I choose to listen to podcasts instead of the radio. I love Tranquility Du Jour, Girlboss Radio, Politically Re-Active and my new favorite The Land of Desire: French History & Culture.
  3. Start saying No. How many times a month do you commit yourself to doing things that you really don’t want to do. You only say yes because you feel obligated to do so. Your time is valuable so start treating it as such. Start saying no more and don’t feel the need to give a long reason why. Just say “no, I’m sorry, I’m not available”. It’s that easy.
  4. Start saying Yes. This is not a contradiction to number 3. Start saying no to the things you don’t want to do, so you can start saying yes to the things that get you really excited. Say yes, but say it because you really want to.
  5. Don’t plan so much. When we over plan things, they can start to feel mundane. There is so much excitement and exhilaration in the unplanned. Take a day, go to your nearest city and just explore. No plans, not itinerary, just walk and go wherever you want to go. I love doing this in NYC. I pick one area in NYC and just walk. If I pass a store that looks interesting I go in, if I’m feeling hungry, I grab a bite to eat. Something fun and unexpected always happens, and if I would have planned my route I would have missed it.
  6. Step out of your comfort zone, get scared. We must always be testing ourselves and pushing ourselves outside of the box. How boring a life would be if we played it safe all the time. Remove the box you’ve created and push yourself outside of your comfort.
  7. Try something new. Cook a new recipe, try a new makeup style or a new hairdo. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but try something new. Mix things up a bit.

 

Lifestyle

 

lifestyle

Face Your Fears Like a Kid

fullsizerenderLike many of you are familiar with, this week was the start of a new school year. I was lucky enough to be able to get my 6 year old niece ready for her first day of 2nd grade.  Like all new beginnings, she was nervous.

She normally isn’t the nervous type; she’ll walk up to any kid and ask to play, she’ll dance ballet and tap in front of a hundred people and she’ll even tell adults to face their fears and congratulate them when they do. So it was weird to see her nervous about starting school.

Secretly, I was watching her and learning from her. I noticed these three main steps and even used them this week when I was faced with a situation that I was extremely nervous about.

Step One: Zone Out.  She knew the bus came at 8:00, so for the downtime we had in the morning she didn’t want to talk to me or do anything except zone out.  She watched tv and kept her mind off of what she was nervous about.

Step Two: Tell your peers you are nervous.  We walked to the bus stop and shortly after saying hi to the friends she knew, she giggled and told them she was nervous.  I’m pretty sure they all sighed with relief knowing that they were all nervous and in it together.

Step Three: Go for it. When the bus came, she didn’t even say goodbye to me, she just ran right up to the opened doors.  No delaying the inevitable, she just went for it and didn’t look back (until of course I called her name to take her picture).

She taught me that sometimes we need to take things back to nature. Back to when we were a kid and did things the way we felt like they needed to be done and not the way society has taught us.

Get back to your inner child and do what feels natural to you.

Lifestyle

lifestyle

8 Ways to Live the Simple Life

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  1. Go somewhere and don’t tell anyone. Ever. We live in a society where we take pictures of our food, every experience we have and post it instantly online. I’m guilty! But when was the last time you experienced something truly for and by yourself? Put the phone in your glove compartment, drive somewhere adventurous, get curious and explore. And don’t tell the world about it. I want to live my life; not record it.” Jackie Onassis
  2. Limit tv. Read, play with your children/nieces/nephews, paint, make an elaborate meal, learn, explore. Find something else to do besides the tv.
  3. Speaking of reading. Hide your kindle and get the real deal paper and ink. Let the pages fold, rip and crease, grab a pen and make notes in the blank spaces, let it live and let it be raw. That is what reading is all about.
  4. Respect boredom. Everyone is always so dang busy and declares it like it’s a badge of honor. Busy is a trap. Busy is not honorable. Busy means you lack knowing what is and is not important. Clear your calendar for a day and do nothing. Get bored. Get really, bored. And see what comes up. I bet, almost without a doubt, it will spark creativity and inspiration like you’ve never experienced before.
  5. Do one thing at a time. Multitasking is so 2015. If you’re working on something, turn everything else off and just do that one thing for 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.
  6. Stop buying plastic. Fo’ real. And if you walk by trash outside, pick it up. Be kind to the world.
  7. Look up at the stars as often as you can. It will put everything right into perspective.
  8. In all ways possible, choose outdoors.